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Barrett v. Seneca Foods

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

March 5, 2018

SENECA FOODS, Defendant.


          STEPHEN L. CROCKER Magistrate Judge

         Pro se plaintiff Patrick Wayne Barrett, Sr. is proceeding in this lawsuit on claims against defendant Seneca Foods under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In particular, he is pursuing claims that (1) Seneca discriminated against him due to his disability when he worked for Seneca as a seasonal forklift driver and Seneca refused to promote him to a permanent position because he could not pass a math test, and (2) his coworkers sexually harassed him due to his perceived sexual orientation and Seneca retaliated against him by refusing to let him retake the math test he failed. Before the court are several motions filed by Barrett that I address below:

         I. Motion for issuance of subpoenas (dkt. 36)

         Barrett has submitted two subpoenas that he prepared, one directed to John Baldwin, Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), the second directed to Nancy Berryhill at the Social Security Office of Public Inquiries. While Barrett has not included a separate motion for issuance of subpoenas, I will infer that he is seeking the court's permission.

         Barrett's subpoena to Director Baldwin requests all records related Barrett's mental health, Barrett's disciplinary records, a complete list of all facilities that housed Barrett from 1986 until 2000, and all of Barrett's medical records, including any prescriptions. The information Barrett provided in support of this request is sufficiently clear and it appears that Director Baldwin is the appropriate recipient of this type of request, or more accurately, that his office can determine the proper recipient and forward it to them. It also appears that Barrett may not be able to obtain all of these materials on his own because they are in the possession of IDOC. Accordingly, I am directing the clerk of court to issue Barrett's requested subpoena. Barrett should be aware that IDOC, as a third party, is entitled to certain protections under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 45(d), so IDOC might have objections to the scope of this subpoena and the cost of production. That said, we will not look for trouble today.

         Next, Barrett's subpoena directed to Berryhill requests all records regarding Barrett's 2001 Social Security Disability (SSD) hearing held at the federal courthouse in Rockford, Illinois; all records pertaining to mental health exams, testing diagnoses, or results used at the hearing; and the disposition of the 2001 hearing and any reasoning used by the ALJ for that outcome. As a party to this proceeding, Barrett has the right to request and receive all of the information in his file, so it is not necessary for the court to issue a subpoena in these circumstances. Barrett should submit a request with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to obtain his Social Security Disability file, and he can refer to the SSA's website for instructions on how to request that information. See

         Accordingly, I am denying his request for the court to issue a subpoena to Berryhill.

         II. Motion to submit documents electronically (dkt. 35)

         Barrett requests that that court permit him to file documents in this court and send documents to defendant using the Trulinks (Corrlinks) electronic filing system. Barrett explains that this system is available at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution where he is incarcerated. I am denying this request. First, as to filings in this court, this court uses the Case Management/Electronic Files System (“CM/ECF”), and will accept documents filed through that system. Unless Barrett is able to obtain access to the CM/ECF, the court is not equipped to accept documents submitted through the Trulinks (Corrlinks) electronic filing system.

         As for Barrett's request to serve defendant electronically, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5(b)(E), if the defendant agrees, Barrett may serve it electronically. Accordingly, Barrett is free to request that defendant accept service of documents through the Trulinks (Corrlinks) system, but I will not enter an order requiring defendant to enter into such an agreement.

         III. Motions to compel (dkts. 38, 41, 43)

         In his three motions to compel, Barrett requests (A) an order directing the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to produce a true and correct copy of transcripts of the hearings for Barrett's probation revocation from October 11, 2017, and October 18, 2017 (dkt. 38); (B) an order requiring defendant to respond to his requests for admissions and documents, complaining that defendant's response was untimely and did not properly respond, and that defendant's counsel has failed to communicate with Barrett (dkt. 41); and (C) an order requiring defendant's attorney to label all future correspondence “legal mail” to ensure that they remain confidential (dkt. 43). I will address each in turn:

         A. Revocation proceeding transcripts

         I am denying Barrett's request to order the Northern District of Illinois to product transcripts. That court is not a party to this lawsuit, and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a) provides that this court may only compel parties to the proceeding to comply with a discovery request. Therefore, I do not have jurisdiction to compel the clerk of that court to produce the materials Barrett seeks. More importantly, the information that Barrett is seeking does not appear relevant to his claims in this lawsuit. Regardless, while Barrett may have to pay for the cost of obtaining those transcripts, ...

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